Lagunitas Couch Trippin’ Winner Announced

A few weeks ago Lagunitas Brewing, my local down the street, announced a contest to win a a party in your home, Couch Trippin’ party to your home. The Couch Trippin’ Contest ended on the last day of August, and they’ve just announced the winner in a new Lagunitas video showing some of the best entries and ending with the winner’s submission.


Congratulations to Mel Gryllz (@Gryllzlee) for emerging victorious with this wonderful shot:


Couch Trippin’ Contest

Lagunitas Brewing, my local down the street, is having a fun contest to win a a party in your home. That is, they’ll bring the Lagunitas Couch Trippin’ party to your home. What could be simpler?


So it is pretty simple, just do the following:

  1. Snap a photo of your couch & Lagunitas
  2. Tag it #couchtrippin on IInstagram and/or Twitter


So what can you win? Here’s how Lagunitas explains it: “We’re gonna bring the Lagunitas CouchTrippin’ party to your house … A killer band, tasty munchies, and we’ll even bring our own couch… All for you and up to 30 of your friends (sorry, we can’t have the whole town showin’ up). Follow the super simple instructions above. Or see full legal fine freakin’ print.”

Here’s mine, on our new giant sofa. It’s supposed to be a sofa bed, but we just keep it open all the time and use it as a “snuggle sofa” that fits our family of four perfectly, making it great for watching movies, playing video games, or of course, snuggling.


Let’s see yours. You have until the end of the month, specifically “August 31, 2014 at 11:59:59 PM PST” to post or upload your own Couch Trippin’ photo. But make sure you read the rules first to make sure you don’t disqualify yourself. For example, I’m not actually “drinking or consuming an alcohol product,” because that’s one of the restrictions. I’m just holding the beer, giving it a sniff.


We’re looking for a house to bring our CouchTrippin’ party to — so show us a pic of your couch with Lagunitas and tag #couchtrippin on Instagram or Twitter.

Time To Enter Our Beer Writing Contest

If you write about beer in print or online or broadcast, please consider joining over 100 of your colleagues in the newly reformed North American Guild of Beer Writers. Even if I can’t persuade you to join, if you’ve written something you’re proud of between July of last year and June 30 of this year, you should enter it in our NAGBW Writing Contest, which is open to non-members as well as guild members. Our goal is to raise the level of beer writing by rewarding the best efforts of our colleagues. “NAGBW’s awards honor the best beer and brewing industry coverage in seven categories. Journalism, feature writing, freelance authors, blogs and broadcast or published in print or online are eligible.” Don’t delay, because the deadline is coming up fast; it’s August 26.


The seven categories are for Best Book, Magazine Writing, Newspaper (Paid Circulation) Writing, Brewspaper/Free Zine Writing, Beer Blog, Beer and Food Writing, and Broadcast/Podcast. The cost to compete is $30 per entry (but only $15 for members — see, you should join).

Submit your entry or entries online through our partner Submittable by next Monday, August 26. Again, that’s for work published or broadcast between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Online submissions are accepted at, and print books may be mailed to: Lucy Saunders, Attn: NAGBW Awards, 4230 N. Oakland Ave. #178, Shorewood, WI 53211.

If you have any questions, contact via our website, drop me a line, or simply comment here. Award winners will be announced during GABF, date and time to be announced shortly. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

Brazilian Brewer Nominated For “Man Of The Year”

One of the brewers I met during my trip to South America earlier this year for the South Beer Cup was Alexandre Bazzo, owner and brewmaster of Micro Cervejaria Bamberg in Votorantim, Brazil. Bazzo studied brewing in Germany and his brewery consistently makes some of the finest German-style beers I’ve had outside of Bavaria, which is all the more impressive given the scarcity of ingredients in South America. In fact, every Bamberg Bier I’ve tried has been top notch. Plus, he’s a terrific person who is very passionate about his beer.

Alex, with Stephen Beaumont, speaking at a beer dinner Melograno in Sao Paulo this May.

A prominent magazine in Brazil, Alfa, has a contest online, asking people to vote for Brazil’s Man of the Year 2011. There are about 50 people nominated, and the list includes a number of famous people (in Brazil), including formers presidents, artists, and athletes, but only one brewer. Bazzo’s currently in second place, so he could actually win this thing. I think it would send a fun message that a brewer could be declared “Man of the Year.”

It appears that anyone can vote — I did — and you don’t have to register or anything. Just go to the contest page at Alfa Magazine. There you’ll see a roster of small icons for each of the nominees. Alex is on the top row, second from the right. Just click on the “Alexandre Bazzo” square and a pop-up window will appear, it looks just like below. Just click on “ENVIAR SEU VOTO” to vote for Alex.


Below is the translation for the voting pop-up page:

Bazzo Alexander, 35, is the founder and brewer of Bamberg, one of Brazil’s most award-winning microbrews. In 2011, Bamberg took the award for best brewer in South America, at the South Beer Cup, held in Argentina, and four of their labels won silver medals. In the Australian International Beer Awards, five of them won bronze medals. This year, sales of Bamberg increased more than 35%. Twitter: @BambergBier.


Indianapolis Man Wins “Brew Your Cask Off” Contest

A couple of weeks ago, All About Beer magazine conducted a contest, to win a trip to the “Brew Your Cask Off” beer festival hosted by Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5, 2011.

The winner had to write an essay explaining what type of cask they’d brew, in 300 words or less. The winner, Matt Robinson, from Indianapolis, Indiana, wrote a poem which won him and a friend a trip to SweetWater Brewery’s cask festival.

From the press release:

Matt will also be a honorary judge for the cask ale competition and be a server for a cask made from his hilarious and precise poem.

Without a doubt one of the most unusual, and clever beer events, SweetWater Brewery’s Brew Your Cask Off features 80 different cask ales made by a full range of celebrities and not so celebrities, including dignitaries from the beer media, non-profits and retailers from the metro Atlanta beer community. All About Beer Magazine publisher Daniel Bradford participated in making a cask named Adam’s All About Beer Ale, after the SweetWater brewer who guided the actual cask ale production. The cask ale festival features a judging of all the casks with the winner getting serious bragging rights, including being brewed by SweetWater Brewery, and the loser getting the much coveted, and highly decorated golden toilet seat.

Matt Robinson will join a collection of very talented palates as a honorary judge helping chose the best cask of the festival. During the festival itself, Matt will have the pleasure of presenting a cask made from the numerous clues he provided in his winning poem.

Runners up included second place finisher Steve Forbes who wrote a passionate sensory entry. Third place went to Michael Iris who described how his hound found an unusual cache of berries that would have made a wonderful cask. Both of these entries and the other finishers can be found at All About Beer.

The winning entry is below. Enjoy.


What Cask Should An American Brew? by Matt Robinson

What cask should an American Brew?
But nothing less than around 55 I-Be-Yous!
I would add subtle flavor with East Kents
Perhaps more for hop compliment
Throw in some fuggles and American C’s
Many will say it’s the knees of bees!
Powerful flavor will be most divine
Even with a gravity around one-thousand nine
The grain bill is full of Golden Promise Malt
This great American session cask has no fault
The hydrometer reading will need to state
Around 3.55% alcohol by weight
This may sound like an English creation
With bold American style is my summation
Lovibond sounds nice somewhere near ten
Many hours with our cask we will all spend!
Wyeast numbered Nineteen Forty-Five
Will make our cask come alive!
Gravity-fed like our English brethren
Cask beer please take hold for American beer drinking heaven
Deep in the south in town called Atlanta
Our cask brings so much joy we call it Santa!
All the people will come and stand
To sing play us a song you’re the piano man!

“Brew Your Cask Off” Contest

All About Beer magazine, one of the publications I regularly write for, has launched a cool contest, where you could win a trip to the “Brew Your Cask Off” beer festival hosted by Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5, 2011. The festival will include around 80 special one-of-a-kind cask ales created by brewers from around the country, each competing to win the “Best Cask Ale” or be declared the “Biggest Loser.”

You can win a trip for two to the event, courtesy of All About Beer, by telling them — in 300 words or less — what type of cask beer you’d brew. That’s roughly the equivalent of two tweets. Impress them with your beer description and you could win big.


All the details, along with the form to enter, can be found at the All About Beer’s website. In a nutshell:

Tell us what type of cask you would brew in 300 words or less and you could win a free trip for two (two nights of lodging included) to the Brew Your Cask Off festival. In addition, you and your guest will be celebrity judges helping decide who made the best, and who made the worst cask ale.

Entries will be judged on entertainment value, imagination, artistic abilities, historical accuracies, whatever criteria strikes us at the office when we all sit down to decide the lucky winner of a trip for two to Brew Your Cask Off. You need not be a professional or even an amateur brewer — just someone with a palate for what makes a good cask ale.

Start thinking about your beer, but don’t ponder it too long. All entries must be received by Valentine’s Day, February 14th, and the winner will be announced on February 18.


Win Tickets To The SF Giants Brewfest Saturday

Come join me and my family this Saturday for the inaugural San Francisco Giants Brewfest at the ballpark, sponsored in part by the San Francisco Brewers Guild. All seven brewery members (Beach Chalet, 21st Amendment, Thirsty Bear, Social Kitchen Brewery, Magnolia Pub, Speakeasy & Gordon Biersch) will be pouring their beer from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and then the game begins at 6:05. Tickets are $20, which includes a commemorative glass, unlimited samples, music by “The Famous” and tickets to the Giants vs. Diamondbacks game.


What could be better than a deal like that? How about free tickets? Leave a comment here telling me why you’d like to go to the Brewfest and the baseball game this Saturday and the best answer will win two tickets, courtesy of the San Francisco Giants and the Brewer’s Guild. Comments, or entries, must be posted here by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday (yes, that’s in two days) and the winning entry will be announced at 6:00 p.m. The winner will then be able to pick up their tickets at will call on Saturday. See you there!


UPDATE 5.27: And the winner …? It was a tough choice, there were many worthwhile entries. I almost chose the newly engaged couple, and the recent San Diego transplant. Then there was the never-been-kissed friend and the intern on his first weekend in San Francisco. But I was most moved by the plight of Stuart Dejesus, who desperately needs a day away. He’s trying to plan a wedding with twin 10-month old babies. I think he and his fiance deserve a day in the (hopefully) sun. Congratulations Stuart, your tickets will be at will call under your name.

Win An Internship At An Oregon Brewery

Oregon Bounty, which promotes travel to Oregon and specifically its local food and beverages, is sponsoring a very cool contest. They’re offering seven “cuisinternships” to local artisan businesses. You can be an intern chef, cheesemaker/choclatier, distiller, fisherman, rancher, winemaker, or — the coolest of the seven — craft brewer. Winners get an all-expenses paid trip to Oregon which includes round-trip airfare, six-nights lodging, and $1,000 cash spending money. You’ll then intern for five days.

You can enter online with a two-minute video and/or your 140-character essay on why you deserve to win an Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship. That’s basically a twitter post; a tweet. The deadline to enter is coming up; it’s Friday September 18. There’s also an FAQ if you have any questions about the contest.

The brewery Cuisinternship is with Jamie Emmerson at Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Oregon. I’ve known Jamie for a long time now, and he and the staff of Full Sail couldn’t be nicer people. Plus, Hood River is an absolutely gorgeous part of the world.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll be doing if you win: Tour the Great Western Malting and Hop Farm, learn about mashing and the mash tun, learn about sparging and the lauter tun, understand the spice of the beer and the contributions of the hops and kettle, pitch the yeast (the magic ingredient), look under the microscope in the lab, partake in bottling at 500 beers per minute, fill kegs, and — most importantly — taste the rewards of your hard work. Whew, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Here’s how the website describes it:

Along the shores of the mighty Columbia River Gorge, get a week-long lesson from some of the country’s craft brewing pioneers. From the hop farm to the mash tun to the microscope, you’ll feel, smell and taste beer from beginning to end. If you can tear yourself away from the tasting table, explore the charming town of Hood River, unofficial U.S. capitol of windsurfing, beer drinking and hanging out.

I’ve also been asked to judge the submissions and help pick the winner, so be sure to answer the question. “Why do you deserve to win?”